Airbnb did not hesitate to cancel a reservation made by a so-called member of the neo-fascist, far-right group Proud Boys. Asserting their vow to not associate with members of hate groups the alleged member was banned completely from the platform.
What We Know:
- As Trump continues to push voter fraud claims, many of his supporters join him in protest. This past Saturday, thousands of Trump supporters gathered near Freedom Plaza-east of the White House-for the “Million Maga March” and “Stop the Steal” rallies.
- A thread from a Telegram groupchat ran by Proud Boys was posted to Twitter ahead of the protests. The screenshot showed a man, Ronald Gaudier, inviting others to an Airbnb rental he obtained within walking distance of the rally. He invited anyone needing a place to stay to message him if interested. The post was retweeted several time calling out Airbnb. One user wrote, “Hey @Airbnb what are your thoughts on members of white supremacist hate groups like the ‘Proud Boys’ using your platform?” Another asked if Airbnb supported “far right extremists and Proud Boys using your platform for the Million MAGA March”.
- Airbnb promptly responded to the wave of concern letting users know they appreciated that it was brought to their attention. The company went on to say, “anyone affiliated with hate groups has no place on Airbnb. We’ve identified the reservation, cancelled it, and banned the user from our platform”. The Southern Poverty Law center labeled Proud Boys as a general hate group regularly spouting white nationalist memes and often associated with extremist. They also noted their anti-Muslim agenda and misogynistic rhetoric.
- The freshly banned member returned to Telegram complaining Airbnb’s decision to blacklist him from the website. He claimed he is not in fact a Proud Boy even though he was chatting among them. He wrote, “It turns out I was somehow outed to AirBnB and they canceled not only my reservation but my membership because they ‘won’t support members of hate groups.’ Funny thing is I’M NOT A PROUD BOY nor do I intend to ever be one!” Gaudier attempted to “make clear” that he has no desire to be apart of the alt-right group. He says he was in the vetting room, a forum used to analyze the records of Trumps judicial nominations, and when he realized the company he was in it gave him pause. However, he 100% supports freedom of speech and believed his ban was a “badge of honor”.
- Whether or not Gaudier was actually a Proud Boy was not important to Airbnb. They stated his association was enough for the company to take action. Airbnb’s Community Standards asserts: “Members of dangerous organizations, including terrorist, organized criminal, and violent racist groups, are not welcome in this community.” They did make certain that regular people attending pro-Trump rallies do not have to fear canceled reservations or getting banned.
The protest began peaceful but later was faced with violence as Trump supporters clashed with counter-protesters. Trump’s motorcade briefly passed through the rally catching wind of the erupted chaos. He took to Twitter blaming the violence on “antifa scum” urging police to not hold back and do their job.
Couple Who Tested Positive for Covid-19 Are Arrested after Boarding Flight
A couple in Hawaii face reckless endangerment charges after entering a flight with their 4-year-old son, although they had tested positive for Covid-19, officials state.
What We Know:
- A spokesperson for Kauai police stated Wednesday, the couple, Wesley Moribe and Courtney Peterson, knew they had tested positive as they boarded a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Lihue. San Francisco International Airport officials had told them to isolate and not to travel, yet they did not listen and boarded the flight.
- When Moribe and Peterson arrived at Lihue Airport, police accompanied them to an isolation room for additional processing and investigation.
- Moribe, 41, and Peterson, 46, Wailua residents, were arrested on second-degree reckless endangerment charges. A family member took their son home, and Child Protective Services was notified.
“They knowingly boarded a flight aware of their positive COVID-19 test results, placing the passengers of the flight in danger of death,” Coco Zickos, the Public Information Officer at Kaua‘i Police Department said in a statement.
- A spokesman for the Hawaii Covid-19 Joint Information Center said Wednesday that the state Health Department is informed when someone tests positive and that the couple was aware of their diagnosis before entering the San Francisco flight.
A couple in Hawaii is facing reckless endangerment charges after boarding a flight with their 4-year-old despite having tested positive for Covid-19, police say. https://t.co/k20SH9zdo5
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 2, 2020
- The airline’s website states, “Following CDC guidelines, you will not be able to travel on United for at least ten days after the date you tested positive and only after you have two successive negative COVID-19 results that were administered at least 24 hours apart.”
- Moribe and Peterson are banned from any United flights, and an investigation has been initiated, a spokesperson for the airline said.
The couple was arrested and charged with reckless endangering in the second degree before being transported to Lihue Headquarters and booked. The couple posted bail, which was set at $1,000. The couple could face up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine if sentenced.
Getty Images and GLAAD Team Up for New Transgender Photo Guidelines
Getty Images and GLAAD have teamed up in an effort to improve transgender representation in the community.
What We Know:
- New guidelines were released Wednesday by Getty Images and GLAAD. Getty Images is one of the world’s largest stock photo agencies, while GLAAD is a national LGBTQ advocacy organization. These guidelines will help photographers around the world capture the transgender community more accurately as well as give them more media representation.
- The guidelines were put into place in hopes of giving the transgender community representation. Increased photography of transgender individuals will help normalize these individuals.
- In an interview with NBC News, GLAAD’s director of transgender representation, Nick Adams, commented on the collaboration. “Stock images tell a story without words,” Adams commented, “When those images don’t reflect the full diversity that exists within the transgender community, then our story isn’t being told in an authentic way.”
- There has been a demand for transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people in Getty Images stock. According to Campaign Live, “keyword searches on Getty Images for “transgender” increased 129% year-over-year, searches for “nonbinary” increased 334%. “In the past, trans images in stock photography have included many tropes and cliches or even replaced actual transgender people with impersonal symbols like flags,” Adams said. The demand for these images motivated Getty Images to collab with GLAAD.
- The guidelines give models the control over how they are referred to in captions. This will allow for no assumptions to be made of their gender identity. Photographers have also been given guidelines to make transgender subjects comfortable and empowered while on set.
- Simply shooting the individuals is not the goal. The photography will not perpetuate harmful stereotypes of the trans community as well as create tokens of the individuals. Guy Merrill, global head of art at Getty Images and Stock, talked of the importance of the images, “We are not looking for our contributors to go out and just shoot some portraits of transgender persons. That is not the point at all,” Merrill said. “It’s that level of nuance that brings in that authenticity in terms of people you choose. It is all those small moments that really kind of authentically tell that broader story.”
While Getty Images will not be able to force any company to use their new stock imagery of trans and nonbinary individuals, it will expose companies to the imagery as well as give them more options to include the individuals.
Oscars 2021 ‘Will Happen’ in Person, Academy Says
The annual Oscar’s award ceremony is expected to happen in person this year.
What We Know:
- A representative from the Academy and ABC told Variety, “The Oscars in-person telecast will happen”.
- The Oscars have been pushed back two months to April 25th, 2021. The Academy is hopeful that theaters will reopen in the spring allowing more films to compete for awards.
- In the event theaters stay closed, the Oscars are steady in their efforts to remain live. Questions have risen on how many people will be allowed in the Los Angeles Dolby Theatre where the show has traditionally taken place; the theatre seats 3,400.
- As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the film industry was hit hard. Movie theaters closed and film and TV production stopped. Because of the unusual circumstances, the Academy extended the eligilbity timeline from December 31st to February 28th. Additionally, films that premiered on streaming platforms will also qualify for submission.
- In-person attendance may stir controversy among some of the attendees. Some attendees may not be able to or agree to in-person attendance due to the virus’ dangers. Especially considering older nominees who are more at risk for the virus.
As award season approaches, the events must decide whether to stay virtual, hold the event in person, or create a hybrid. Award season starts with the Golden Globes in February. The show will air live hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The Critic Choice awards and the SAG awards are set to air in March. Whether they will be digital or live is unknown.
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